PREVIEW COACH: Dave Clawson (6-18 in two years at WFU, 96-98 overall as a head coach – 16 Years) LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 3-9 overall, 1-7 ACC, 6th in Atlantic Division LETTERMEN/STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 21/9; Defense 20/6; Specialist 2/2 KEY RETURNEES: QB John Wolford (Jr.); QB Kendall Hinton (So.); TE Cam Serigne; WR Cortez Lewis; WR Tabari Hines (So.); RB Tyler Bell (So.); LG Tyler Hayworth (RSr.); C Josh Harris (Sr.); SS Ryan Janvion (R-Jr.); CB Brad Watson; LB Thomas Brown (Sr.); (Sr.); DE Wendell Dunn (R-Jr); LB Marquel Lee (Sr.); DT Josh Banks (R-Sr.); DE Duke Ejiofor (R-Jr.) KEY LOSSES: WR KJ Brent; OL Dylan Intemann OL; LB Brandon Chubb; DB Zach Dancel; LB Hunter Williams; P Alex Kinal.
season with nine tackles, including seven solo, and tied for second on the team with six special teams tackles. He made his collegiate debut in the season opener vs. Presbyterian, and that moment is one he says he won’t forget. The journey forward was then just a matter of listening, learning and working hard. “Kevin Johnson and Bud Noel were some great leaders on this team for me and others on this team,” Watson said. “For me it was a great experience, and I took parts of their games and incorporated them into mine. I learned from both, but Kevin was just a
wizard in the film room, and we would sit there for hours. Bud was more of an onfield, hands-on guy, and he would tell me different techniques I could use on the field, and he was really a great player, so I learned differently from both. It was so great playing with them.” There aren’t many players worth their salt who would ever complain about playing time, but there aren’t many who have played as much as Watson has either. In a game as physical as college football, the drive to give your best play after play takes both a mental and physical toughness.
OUTLOOK: Dave Clawson said that if his team was not preparing for a bowl game this season, he would be very disappointed. Given Clawson’s history and reputation as a program builder, Wake Forest is due to turn a corner this season. Yes, the Deacons in terms of upperclassmen, will be young, but in terms of practical experience will be much more mature. Wake Forest played 31 underclassmen in its two-deep last season, The Deacons have improved in the area of recruiting each year under Clawson, and this season offers a friendly schedule. One of the big questions that must be answered is who will win the starting quarterback spot as neither sophomore Kendall Hinton nor John Wolford secured it during the spring. But across the board, the Deacons should have better depth and talent. Wake Forest has seven home games. Non-conference opponents include an opener against Tulane and games against Delaware and Army at home. The Deacons visit Indiana. In the ACC, Wake Forest hosts Syracuse, Virginia, Clemson and Boston College and is on the road at Duke, N.C. State, Florida State and Louisville. Wake’s open date is Oct. 22, giving them an extra week mid-season to regroup and get healthy with four of the remaining five games at BB&T field.
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